The "Wantocracy" Arrives
In stores today is Brian Sack's great new book “In the Event of my Untimely Demise.” Here's the basic outline: Brian (aka Glenn's “public viewer” on the TV show) tragically lost his mother to cancer years ago. But before she passed, she wrote a letter to Brian. In the pages were all the life lessons she wanted to be sure he knew.
This book is Brian's “letter” to his son, the twenty things he wants to make sure he knows. It's not some sappy cry fest though, it's really funny. And it's filled with great observations and perspective altering thoughts.
Brian observes that our society has turned from a meritocracy to a “wantocracy.” We coddle our kids so much, that they think all they have to do to achieve something, is to want it. No hard work or talent is necessary. Take for example, the completely untalented American Idol contestant with the ear-stabbing-off-key-voice, who whines to the cameras about how Simon doesn't understand his talent. That comes from the parents who never step up to tell them how much they suck. Sure, it's hard to do-but that's what parenting is.
One of Brian's solutions: have high, reasonable hopes.
It seems to me that some of these problems originate with the lack of understanding of our clichés. “It all comes down to who wants it more” is an overused sports cliché. It's supposed to mean that you want something so bad, you will work 24 hours a day to achieve it. But it's the work that “it all comes down to”-not the “wanting” itself. Wanting is just the reason you do the work. Even with that “wanting” and “work” you still need something called “talent” as well. We shouldn't have a problem admitting that to ourselves.
We've also all heard “money is the root of all evil.” Brian correctly talks about money: it's not pure evil, AND it's not all you should live your life for. It's somewhere in between.
To me, it's another cliché misunderstood. People just skip “the root of”, and translate it to mean money is evil. It can be, if you let it be.
“In the Event of my Untimely Demise” is a great read from beginning to end. If you see it in the bookstore, read just the introduction and I guarantee you'll buy it.
I don't want to oversell it though. When you pick it up–have high, reasonable hopes.